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New Hampshire Ban May Not Be Legal

New Hampshire Ban May Not Be Legal

RFA questions whether state has authority to ban ethanol.

As lawmakers in New Hampshire consider a ban on corn-based ethanol in the state, Matt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association points out that it is unclear if any state has the authority to enact such a provision as it may run afoul of the federal law known as the Renewable Fuels Standard. The New Hampshire bill has passed the state's House of Representative and awaits action in the state's Senate.

RFA Chairman and KAAPA Ethanol CEO Chuck Woodside points out that some petroleum marketers and critics contend consumers need to know if ethanol is in their gasoline, but they don't require the same reporting for other more toxic ingredients. Gasoline contains suspected carcinogens and other substances hazardous to human health like benzene and naphthalene, yet no label is required to inform consumers. Ethanol, by comparison, is a biodegradable ingredient and one that does not pose the same human health risks.

Woodside also notes that in states where ethanol labels have been removed, such as Kansas and Michigan, sales of ethanol year over year have increased dramatically and thus helped those states reduce their reliance on petroleum-based fuels.

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